Coolah to Newcastle Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Coolah to Newcastle Pipeline was a proposed natural gas pipeline.[1]


The pipeline would have run from Coolah, New South Wales to Newcastle, New South Wales.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Santos
  • Parent Company: Santos
  • Current Capacity:
  • Proposed Capacity:
  • Length: 174 mi / 280 km
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Start Year:


The pipeline was originally proposed by Eastern Star Gas in 2010 as a way of carrying coal seam gas from the proposed Narrabi to Wellington Pipeline to a proposed LNG facility on Kooragang Island in Newcastle, New South Wales. Santos purchased Eastern Star Gas in 2011 and put the proposed pipeline under review. In November 2016 Santos moved to sell the land set aside for the LNG facility, eliminating the need for the pipeline.[2][3]

Environmental Impact

Testimony submitted by the National Parks Association of New South Wales in September 2011 cited the pipeline's role in the development of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in state forests, and the potential for CSG to damage the environment.[4] Construction of the connecting Narrabi to Wellington Pipeline would damage these forests' ecosystems by disrupting Travelling Stock Routes, or TSR's.

A TSR is "an exceptionally valuable environmental asset, due to its unique management history. Because TSRs were retained as public land, they were not cleared for cropping or grazing. In many cases, TSRs now protect the few remaining, uncleared areas of certain vegetation types, such as temperate woodland in the wheat – sheep belt of central NSW . . . TSRs are vital refuges for declining and threatened species across NSW. Woodland remnants on TSRs are less degraded and support more species of birds and arboreal mammals than those on private land. The mature, hollow-bearing trees found along TSRs have been shown to provide vital habitat, nesting sites and protection for a range of birds, arboreal mammals and bats."[4]

With the cancellation of the pipeline in 2016, a spokesperson for the Lock The Gate Alliance, Georgina Woods, attributed Santos's decision to its financial losses in developing other CSG projects.[2] “Converting coal seam gas to export LNG was a gamble, it had never been done before. They undertook it in Queensland on a massive scale and ran into all sorts of environment, social and technical problems."[2]

Articles and resources


  1. Long and winding road for gas pipeline, The Newcastle Herald, Feb. 17, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kooragang Island land sale spells end of Santos liquefied natural gas export terminal, The Newcastle Herald, Nov. 15, 2016
  3. Energy policy can’t be blacked out, Dr. Liam Wagner, Griffith Business School, May 9, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 NPA 2011 Coal Seam Gas Inquiry Submission, NPA, Sep. 6, 2011

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